Time off

7th March 2008 at 00:00
Willie's Wonky Chocolate Factory

If you thought a "chocolatier" was just some crazy Pinocchio-like myth invented by the Swiss to flog the rest of the world truffles, then boy have you been living in a dream world. Willie Harcourt-Cooze is the real McCoy, and he's on a mission to create the world's scrummiest candy.

Being a chocolatier, he naturally turns his nose up at such infantile terms, though. Indeed Cooze (think Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall with an alpha male complex) and his hilariously clipped wife, Tania, use words like "radical" and "cutting edge" to describe the humble choccie.

This lent the first episode of Willie's Wonky Chocolate Factory, screened last week on Channel 4 - the follow-up is this Sunday at 9pm - a Jonathan Meades-style high seriousness that made for unintentionally thigh-slapping viewing.

Throw in a mob of rude Venezuelan helpers (they give Will's mates names like Fatty and Goat Face) and the erratic Latin American weather and you have a recipe for volcanic family breakdown.

And as for the name? Well, sexy-sounding it may be. But judging by Tania's face when she hears how much Willie's spent on the latest delivery of cocoa beans, it'll be a while before he's getting any, wonky or otherwise.

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